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wards other countries, especially towards China.
It is impossible to doubt that, whatever be the fashion in which the war may finish, its foremost and most permanent effect will be to raise Japan to a very different standing from that she has occupied hitherto in the world. She has supplied such unexpected proofs of her capacity that opinion about her is rising high. Everybody recognises that, suddenly, a new force has come into existence in the East. The campaign on sea and on land has shown that Japan possesses a practical adaptability, a faculty of applying teaching, a spirit of order, of elaboration, of organisation, which put her entirely apart in Asia, and lift her to a level with Europe.
In the present day the value of nations is counted mainly by their fitness for fighting, and it cannot be denied that from that point of view Japan has shown herself to possess much value. Either as an enemy or as an ally she is now well worth the consideration of other nations. But it happens that her progress has not been towards the power of war alone: it has stretched out simultaneously in almost every other direction. Here are half-a-dozen facts as examples of what she has been doing. Her population has augmented from 33 millions in 1872, to 41 millions in 1892. Her foreign trade, the tonnage of her merchant shipping, and the movement of vessels in her ports, have all doubled in the last ten years. Manufactures of varied natures have been established and are prospering actively-some of them, indeed, brilliantly. The national wealth is increasing rapidly, one proof whereof is that the whole of the war loans issued hitherto have VOL. CLVI-NO. DCCCCL.
been subscribed inside the land. And more important and more striking than all the rest-education is compulsory, and the schools of Japan are almost as numerous as those of Great Britain, while the level of teaching in them is quite as high. There are 26,000 primary schools in Japan, and, according to the last Statistical Abstract, there are 31,000 inspected schools in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
This universality of advance is an argument in itself. Hitherto it has been ignored, and the oppressive treaties which Japan signed forty years ago, in utter ignorance of their real meaning, have been maintained against her, as if she were still in her former condition. But they can be kept up no longer; this war has killed them. England, to her credit, has been the first to change them, without waiting for the evidence of the war; other Powers will be obliged to follow her example. When it is remembered that the total number of foreign residents in Japan, men, women, and children, of all ranks and nationalities (for whose benefit these treaties have been kept up), is, excluding Chinese, only 4200, it becomes difficult to believe that, in the interest of that little group, nearly all the nations have joined together to grind down such a country as Japan.
But this cannot last. The world is perceiving, with astonishment, that a real Power is arising in the East, and is beginning to claim its place in the sunlight — the sunlight, be it remembered, of which it is called the birth-land. It will be useless, as things are marching, to continue to deny that place to Japan; it will be ungenerous to postpone the frank 3 M
recognition of it. England has been the first to alter the treaties with Japan; may she also be the first to hold out a hand of confidence and esteem to her.
Towards China the position to be taken up by Japan after the war would, apparently, be something of this sort. If Japan should win finally-and it is becoming every day more difficult to fancy that she can fail to winshe would become the political leader of the Far East, and China would be placed in the second rank. But it appears to be very probable that, however resolutely Japan might claim and occupy the front place, it would be her interest to establish (if possible) thoroughly friendly and co-operative relations with China. If the future international policy of Japan be based, as it is reasonable to imagine it will be, on the ambition that Eastern Asia shall count henceforth as a new living force in the world, and that she herself shall be the guiding spirit of that force, an alliance for mutual advantage and concert between herself and China will almost of necessity appear to her to be a desirable condition thereof. The two would gain by working heartily together towards others. Of the dispositions of Japan in that direction it is difficult to doubt; the line of conduct that would suit her seems selfevident. But would China accept friendly relations with her? And if she did appear to accept them, would she do so frankly, honestly, cordially, without those mental reservations to which allusion has already been made, and to which she is so addicted? Would shecould she-shake off her pride, her jealousy, her corruption, her stag
nation, in order to give practical effect to a new policy? Would she enter into a union with Japan in which the latter would be the "dominant partner," and would she fit herself by a totally changed attitude and system, as Japan has done, to serve the general cause of Eastern Asia?
That Japan would desire all this looks clear so far, that is, as an opinion can be formed from the outside. It is in the nature of of things that, after acquiring supremacy over China, she should wish to join hands with her for their common good. But what China may consent to do, and what even if she consents to anything-she may really do, is a very different matter. She would have an opportunity, under totally new conditions, of emerging from her shell, and of becoming something in the outside world; but she could only attain those ends by imitating Japan as regards working means, and by following her lead as regards political action. Would she could she-do either? If she refused, or if she were unable (and most of the people who know China declare positively that she would be unable), then Japan would have to continue on her road alone, and to labour for her own hand exclusively; which would mean, so far as the future can be judged by the present, the steady political rise of Japan, and the corresponding political decline of China.
For lookers on, like ourselves, the situation is deeply interesting. New Powers are not often born into the world of our day: Prussia was the last to bring herself forth; Japan, apparently, will be the next.
THE COMING STRUGGLE.
WHATEVER differences of opinion may exist between Lord Salisbury and Lord Rosebery on politics in general, they at least agree on one point-and that is, that this country is on the verge of a social and political struggle only to be compared in importance to the great conflict which convulsed England in the seventeenth century. We say "on the verge of," because it may yet be averted, or at all events indefinitely postponed. But that both these statesmen regard it as a contingency which has to be reckoned with in our forecast of the immediate future we know from their own lips. They regard it from very different points of view. The one sees, or professes to see in it, only an inevitable and not wholly unwelcome stage in the progress of our political development, accelerated, perhaps exasperated, by the action of one branch of the Legislature, but certain to have come in one shape or another before the world was much older. The other sees in it only that collision between the spirit of anarchy and the spirit of constitutional government, which sometimes ends in the destruction of both: between that respect for law, liberty, and authority characteristic of a people's manhood, and that impatience of all subordination, of all prescriptions, of all individual freedom, which marks the first querulous stage in its decline, and indicates the approach of that period of weakness when nations, no longer strong enough to bear the burden of self-government, take refuge in despotism.
The autumn of 1894 will be remarkable hereafter for many events of great importance. But in our
own domestic history nothing can equal in significance the three signs of the times which have appeared in the political firmament during the last three months. In the first place we have heard the Prime Minister of England, serving one of the most truly constitutional sovereigns who have ever sat upon the throne, taking upon himself to declare, without either royal assent or national demand, that an integral part of the constitution- -a second chamber, that is, with substantial suspensory powers-must cease to exist. In the second place, we have a distinguished statesman, remarkable rather for a tone of sarcastic cynicism than for one of sensational declamation,—a statesman who shrinks with even more than the usual fastidiousness of an English gentleman from anything approaching ever so distantly to the bombastic or the turgid,-we find, we say, Lord Salisbury, only on the 30th of last October, making use of language in all serious and sober earnest which, twenty years ago, he would have uttered only in jest or in irony. In his address to the National Union of Conservative Associations in Edinburgh, Lord Salisbury, referring to the difference in numbers between the Conservative party in the House of Lords now and at previous periods of comparativel recent date, made use of these words :
"The truth is that the movement in the House of Lords indicates an enormous change of opinion over a vast section of English society. Vast numbers of men who formerly gave in to, I will not call it the optimism, but the generous hopes of those who led them, have come to conclude
that the dangers which are before them are too formidable to allow those hopes any longer to guide them, and that they must close up their ranks in order to save society."
To save society: yes, it has come to that now. We are all familiar with the phrase. It has often been laughed at by those who had never felt the danger which it indicated. He jests at scars who never felt a wound. But it is our turn now. There can be no doubt whatever of the direction in which the party of anarchy is moving. And Lord Salisbury only echoes the words of Lord Rosebery himself when he says that "the struggle will be desperate."
The same conviction was expressed by as hard-headed a man as lives, Mr Leonard Courtenay, on the 24th of last September; and these sentiments falling from the lips of such men as these throw a strong light on what we shall call the third sign of the times—namely, the declaration of Mr Chamberlain on the 6th of last September, that no fusion between the Liberal Unionists and the Radicals was any longer possible. Mr Chamberlain was here expressing the feelings of that large class referred to by Lord Salisbury, who, having once been Liberals, were now driven to a union with the Conservatives in order to save society." More than that, Mr Chamberlain volunteered an exhortation which reveals the depth of the gulf already yawning between himself and the Radicals-a gulf which neither can ever cross without such a recantation as neither would submit to make. Mr Chamberlain said:
desire to preserve your great inheritance, I ask you whether you will not do better to rely on those
who are honest and inspired by old traditions, and who are determined to maintain the honour and the interests of this country, rather than upon those who have shown themselves indifferent to the principles upon which the fabric of our greatness has been built up, and who have shown themselves willing to truckle to enemies without and to traitors within."
This is surely the language of a man who has moved, as Lord Salisbury describes the House of Lords to have moved, as the late Poet Laureate had moved, as our last great historian, Mr Froude, had moved, -men who see that some things which they despised in their youth they were wrong in despising, and some things which they disbelieved in their youth they were wrong in disbelieving.
Surely we are not mistaken in saying that the utterances of these three statesmen, Lord Rosebery, Lord Salisbury, and Mr Chamberlain, are signs of the times to which no man can well shut his eyes; and more especially, perhaps, the announcement of Mr Chamberlain that the separation between the Radicals and the Liberal Unionists is complete and final; since it marks a turningpoint in the history of English parties, and a recombination of forces to which we have had no parallel since 1835.
It is a movement which, as Lord Salisbury says, has been going on all through the country. Why does not Lord Rosebery look at the House of Commons as well as at the House of Lords? He would see exactly the same process in operation. Why was the British majority in 1880 and in 1885 Liberal, and why in 1886 and in 1892 was it Conservative? Why is this? Mr Chamberlain, Mr Goschen, Sir Henry James, and others, have only been doing in the Lower
House what the Peers complained of by Lord Rosebery have been doing in the Upper. The movement is not confined to the House of Lords. It is the awakening of the people of Great Britain. Mr Chamberlain sees that all which he desires to accomplish can be done now without setting class against class, and without injury to any of the great interests of which society is composed. These were his words at Liverpool, and what more can any Conservative require? They embody the great maxim,
sic utere tuo ut alieno non lædas. Lord Rosebery and the Radicals cannot be allowed to take advantage of their own wrong; and after, by their own infatuated and unprincipled policy, filling the House of Lords with Conservatives, cry out, forsooth, that the balance of the Constitution is destroyed. But if the Radicals are wolves the Lords are not lambs, and we have no fear of the fable being illustrated in their persons. The trick has been exposed now in the sight of the whole world. We all know what the Government mean by huddling through the Commons a number of hasty and ill-constructed measures, which, if they became law to-day, would have to be repealed to-morrow, and then throwing the unavoidable burden of rejecting them on the House of Lords!
The House of Lords has, of course, been the prominent topic in the very interesting and very able political discussion which has been carried on during the last three months. But before approaching this central question, we must glance at the legislative programme which Mr Chamberlain has more than once submitted to the public, and more particularly on the 11th of last October in his address to his
constituents at Birmingham. He describes the new system of logrolling and government by groups in language nearly identical with that which we have used ourselves on many previous occasions since the present Ministry have been in office; and he then asks, “What is the alternative way? What is the ancient way?"
"It is," he says, "to survey the whole field, to choose those points which are the most ripe for practical legislation, those which command the largest amount of general support;
then to submit them to the electors of the country for full discussion, for criticism, to accept any amendments, to make any concessions which are demanded by reasonable opponents, bearing in mind that half a loaf is better than no bread, and that gradual reform is more permanent and more certain than violent changes, which may provoke a great reaction."
There is nothing new in this last warning, of course. We have frequently repeated it. But its utterance by Mr Chamberlain gives it fresh point and pertinence, and it is one that cannot too often be enforced.
It is by observing this principle that the late Conservative Government was able to do so much, and by the neglect of it that the present revolutionary Government have been able to do so little. Nor does the remark apply only to Lord Salisbury's Administration. It was equally true of Lord Beaconsfield's. And it was not till after the first Mid-Lothian campaign and the general election of 1880 that those bloated and unwieldy programmes came into fashion with the Liberals, and were found so imposing in appearance that they are still persevered with, though found to be perfectly unmanageable and to end in nothing. All those measures